Thursday, January 29, 2009

Man's Best Friend

One of my spinning wheels was out of service for a few days. The "footman connector", where the treadle attches to the crankshaft bar, broke. It's old enough that it just rotted and cracked. So, last night, hubby worked on it for me to come up with something to reconnect it and make the wheel usable again. Salsa, our Airedale, was in the room and was determined to help. She kept trying to see what he was doing but decided that the best way to see was to stick her head through the wheel...

That wasn't getting her as close to the action as she wanted to be, so, when he was laying on the floor working on it, she laid down next to him and stuck her nose in his neck and ear. lol

She's so funny! No matter what we're doing, she always wants to be in the middle of it and try to help. When I pull weeds, she'll watch for a bit and then start trying to pull them with her mouth. When I clip my roses, she watches and notices that I'm clipping off the flowers so she starts biting the flowers. She really isn't all that helpful with the task at hand but she sure puts a lot of smiles on our faces and laughter into our lives! :-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Catching Up

I'm feeling so much better this week! Ahhhh! Now, with how crazy/busy the past couple months have been, then a week off from being sick, I have a lot of catching up to do. So, that's what I started on yesterday. I have so much I need to do and want to do that I can easily feel overwhelmed. I'm trying to have narrow vision and just look at a few things at a time and keep moving, hoping that I'll make significant progress. Trouble is, the more I do, the more I find to do. Life never gets boring that way! :-)

Speaking of catching up... I'm not a person that likes to have a lot of stuff sitting around. That goes for a stash too. Don't get me wrong...I lovvvvve yarn! But, I would prefer to buy it when I need it. That way, when I finish a project, I get a double reward...a finished item and a chance to go shopping and plan a new project. I'm also a very careful and frugal shopper and it's very common for me to shop and come home with nothing. That really helps keep the stash down. But, somehow, I still have a stash...small, but I have one. I've been trying to work through as much of it as I can over this past year and I think I've made quite a dent, especially with Christmas gifts. But, I still have yarn for more projects and I'm trying not to let it weigh me down along with all the other things I have to do. Marie, at Sel and Poivre , has been talking this week about organizing her projects and not being overwhelmed too. I love how she said that a "stash gives me a rash". lol She's been organizing her projects into a small, manageable, realistic list. I've been kind of doing the same thing with my Ravelry queue and removing things as soon as they're done. And, I don't let the list get too long. Marie's posts have been inspiring me to plan some upcoming projects from my stash and put them on my queue. I think that if I organize them and have a plan, these stash yarns will once again be exciting like when I bought them and not an overwhelming (but beautiful) pile of yarn. And, I can catch up on some of those projects I've dreamt of doing.

One ball of yarn at a time...

Last week, while I was sick, I finished a pair of socks. I so enjoyed working on a quick and simple project that I wanted to start on another pair. So, I pulled some yarn out of my stash that I bought at the Knitting Olympics(click and scroll to the bottom to see the yarn) and got started. I'm knitting them in a simple 2x2 rib and carrying the rib down the top of the foot. I thought the yarn was pretty in the ball but I always enjoy seeing how the colors look and change as it's knitted up. This one is no exception. The colors remind me of the desert with all the browns, terra cotta, and orange colors, with a few sagey green plants here and there. So, I'm calling them my "Mesa Socks". This yarn is incredibly soft too! They're working up pretty quickly as I finished the cuff (about 6 1/2 inches) and the heal in one day. It doesn't look as great in pictures as it does in real life, but here's one anyway... Hopefully, they'll look great in a picture when they're done...on a pair of feet! That'll be one less ball of yarn in my stash.

Well, back to work on catching up. Then, tonight, a relaxing evening of simple sock knitting. is good!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Socks and Sniffles

Here's a picture of my finished Bordeaux socks. When I originally started knitting these I was getting a nice striping effect that reminded me of some of the Noro striping projects I've seen. However, I needed to start again with less stitches and I didn't get that effect again. They are pretty though and I'm happy with how they turned out. Simple but nice.

I thought I was feeling better but last night my throat started hurting again and my nose stuffed up so much that I couldn't breath through it. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep. With having to blow my nose so much, I might not get much knitting done today. Sigh!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Knitting Time

I've been sick the past few days and that sucks! But, it gave me lots of uninterupted, non-guilty knitting time. I just finished a pair of socks which I'll post a picture of soon. Yay! I'm starting to feel better. I mostly just have sniffles and sneezing left now.

I just visited Ravelry and found a new message asking if they could feature another one of my FO's on one of their pattern pages. Wow! Now I have two featured items. How exciting! This time it's my first vest that I made last year.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009


We just had a wonderful lunch! Before I forget exactly how we made it, I thought I'd write it all down so I can do it again. I'll do it here on my blog so, if anyone is interested, you can try it yourself. It was soooooo yummy! Let's see....what shall I call it?...Hmmmm?....How about....

Wine Country Vegetarian Panini

You'll need:
1 Eggplant peeled and sliced into discs about 3/8" thick
1 Medium to large sweet onion sliced into thin rings
1 Medium to large tomato cut into thin slices
8 ounces Crimini mushrooms cleaned and sliced
8 ounces fresh mozzerella cheese, sliced
Roasted peppers (in a jar or prepared yourself)-Optional
Sourdough bread, sliced
Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or your favorite red wine
Mayonaise - approximately 1/4 to 1/3 cup
Pesto - approximately 1 tablespoon - adjust to taste (I used a Trader Joe's Pesto)
Olive Oil

Brush sliced eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with salt (optional) and grill or broil until slightly tender. Turn them at least once during the cooking process.

Meanwhile, carmalize onions in a hot skillet with olive oil. When they are almost done, give them a splash of your favorite wine and continue cooking until the wine has reduced and has cooked almost completely away.

While the onions are cooking, sautee the mushrooms in a separate skillet with a bit of olive oil, stirring often, until they are tender.

Mix mayonaise and pesto to taste and set aside.

Brush one side of each slice of sourdough lightly with olive oil.

When all of the items are cooked, sliced, mixed, and spread you can begin preparing your sandwiches...

Heat a skillet with a bit of olive oil (it works great to use the skillet the onions were cooked in because it already has oil and a sweet onion flavor), place a slice of sourdough in the skillet, oil side down. Layer it, in order, with two or more slices of the eggplant (to cover the bread), two or more slices of tomato, onions, mushrooms, peppers (like, I said...this is optional...I don't like them but hubby does and said they were great in his sandwich), and top everything off with two more more slices of mozzerella cheese (this will hold everything in when it melts). On top of that you will spread the pesto/mayo mixture on one side of another slice of bread and place the pesto side down/oil side up on top of the sandwich. Press it all down with a spatula and grill until it is toasty brown and carefully turn it over to grill the other side to a golden brown. The ingredient list should provide enough to make four or more sandwiches, depending on the size of your bread and how much you you put into each sandwich. Enjoy!

I came up with this idea and the sandwiches actually turned out better than I had imagined. They were flavorful and juicy and oooooohhhhh, soooo good! The weather was beautiful again today. So, we spead the outside table with a beautiful red table cloth and enjoyed the warm sunshine, a delicious lunch, and family!

If you decide to try it, let me know. I'd love to hear what you think. I gave it this name because I used wine and we live near the Southern California Wine Country area of Temecula. Cheers!

A Hat for Mary

A friend of mine found out just before Christmas that she had a brain tumor. Since then, she's had surgery and found out that it's cancer. She'll be starting radiation and chemo therapy soon. I wanted to make her a chemo cap and found a pattern that I really liked on Ravelry ("Laced-Edged Women's Hat"). The pattern suggested Rowan Cashsoft yarn but I couldn't find it. So, I used Bernat Satin. It lives up to it's name because it's very soft and has a bit of a sheen like satin. It's such a pretty pink too. I had to do a lot of swatching to get the right gauge. I ended using size eights. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I hope she likes it and that it reminds her of how much she is loved.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just Wondering...

I read a lot of knit blogs and in the past few weeks a lot of bloggers have posted a list of knitted items they made in 2008 (including me). Some of the bloggers have lists that boggle my mind. I'm wondering how they're able to make a dozen pairs of socks, 15-18 sweaters, and a dozen or so other items. It just doesn't seem humanly possible to me. Many of them have jobs. Then, you throw in all the life stuff. I can't imagine being able to accomplish that much even if I were able to knit eight hours a day. All I can say is...WOW!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Swedish Weaving

I took a trip down to the San Diego area yesterday to attend a Palmoar Handweavers' Guild meeting. They had a guest speaker, Joanne Hall, who gave an interesting talk about the history of Swedish weaving. I found so many things interesting, like how important weaving was (and still is) and that every girl was expected to learn to weave. While a girl was young and had time on her hands she was to weave items she would later need in her home. Interested boys would decoratively carve shuttles to give to the young girls. There was a saying that went something like, "drop your shuttle, loose your boyfriend". Kind of funny but it shows how important weaving was. The picture above is of several old shuttles, some from the 1800's. One of them is decorated a bit.

When the industrial revolution came around people didn't need to weave the necessites. Americans began storing their looms in barns and such. But, in Sweden they went in a completely different direction and began to push the boundries of weaving. They added more harnesses to their looms and began to weave finer fabrics with very intricate designs.

Weaving is still very popular in Sweden, much more than it is here in the US and much of the world. There are places in Sweden where you can go and rent time on a loom. And, they continue to weave with fine yarns and finely detailed designs. Unlike here, where the majority of weavers weave with much thicker threads or yarns.

Joanne brought a lot of beautiful examples of weaving to show us, including this runner that she wove. The details and threads aren't as fine in this as many of the other examples but I thought it was extraordinary!

I also learned about temples and how important they are. I saw something like this a long time ago but, like she said, it's not popular in America. It turns out, according to Joanne, that it should always be used in the weaving process. It makes weaving easier, the selvedges neater, and keeps the weaving width uniform. I want to order one and give it a try.

Joanne's enthusasm and love of weaving is contagious and her talk was full of fascinating information and stories. She had so much more to share but we ran out of time. She's visiting the area to teach workshops this week and visit the TNNA show in San Diego this weekend. She resides in Montana where she teaches weaving classes, weaves tapestries, and imports Glimakra looms and accessories from Sweden.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Gotta Go.....

I'm so anxious to get back to posting pictures and stories about fun fibery stuff but I'm soooo busy!!! I'm working on a design job and I was gone all day Saturday for that. Yesterday was filled with driving to San Diego County and back for various harp related things with my daughter. And, this morning I'm off to SD again to visit the Palomar Handweavers' Guild. I've been so busy and I was so tired last night but I'm having so much fun. I had a lot of knitting time yesterday to work on my Crescendo Shawl. I'm anxious to measure it to see how much it has grown! Next Saturday is my deadline!

I hope to have some fun stuff and pictures to post later today. Have a wonderful, fibery fun day! Gotta go.......

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm Here!

I'm still here! I just haven't had time to post this week. My daughter is still on break this week. She'll be back in school next week so things should get back to normal and I plan to be blogging more again.

We've been exercising! Ugh! It's so hard to get out the door but we've made it out to walk/run four days this week. I figure it's a start. And, we're eating more veggies and stuff. I'm just hoping that as I get fit and keep eating healthier that I'll start enjoying it. Hey, I can dream! lol

Our Wednesday sock KAL went well. There were about ten ladies here (including me). Only two of us have made socks before. The rest were all starting their first pair. We'll keep working on them on our Wednesday meetings.

I haven't gotten anything done on my epic Crescendo Shawl project this week but I'm hoping to get some knit time tonight. I had been working a lot on it the past few weeks and it was growing. I was able to measure growth everyday and I was starting a new skein of yarn about every other day. I have one more week to meet my new finishing goal. Wish me luck!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sock KAL

Several of the ladies in our Wednesday morning stitch group want to learn how to make socks. So, we decided to start the new year off with a sock KAL. We start tomorrow. I'm kind of leading the whole thing since I've made socks. So, I posted a little assignment on our website to select their yarn, needles and knit a swatch. Then, go to the Sock-U-Lator (on my side bar) and type in their gauge and measurements to get directions for the perfect size. From there they can be a little creative with ribbing and cuff length. We'll all knit the feet about the same. I decided to get an early start since I'll be helping out. I'm making mine with some yarn that I sell, it's Silver Creek BFL. I don't know why but these yarns haven't sold very well. That just leaves more for me! I love the colors soooo much and the yarn is soft and nice to work with. I love the stiping effect I'm getting on this sock. It reminds me of some of the projects I've seen people do with Noro yarn, alternating colors. It's so pretty. I'm not sure I ever would have thought of putting teal, blue, burgandy and olive together but it sure looks great! The colors are a little brighter in the picture than in real life. This colorway is called "Bordeaux". I made some socks in the colorway, "Herb Garden", last year. About 11 ladies are planning to attend. It should be a lot of fun!

Friday, January 2, 2009


I just received a request from one of the editors of Ravelry to feature a picture of my Crescendo shawl on the Crescendo pattern page. Wow! It's not even finished yet! What a compliment! I feel so honored. I'm so excited! :o )

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Brand New Year...Brand New Goals

Happy New Year!!!!

It's a brand new year and a time for brand new goals. I've been thinking about this for a few weeks and trying to narrow my goals down to a simple, realistic, obtainable list. it goes...a brand new list for a brand new year...

Health/Fitness - This usually slips to the bottom of the priority list and doesn't always happen...but it needs to happen! This is the thing that makes everything else better! So, I have to keep it on the top of the list. I'm trying to re-think a new way to do it that "might" work! I'll try for at least one fruit or veggie at each meal and replace at least one bad beverage (like coffee or soda) a day to water or something healthy. That's a good start. For fitness I need to move everyday...even if it's just a short walk around the block. Once I'm out the door it usually becomes more than that. I'm also planning some bike rides with another lady. We want to meet at least once a week to ride.

Mental/Spiritual - Realistically, I know I won't settle down enough to do this on a daily basis, even though that would be best. So, I aim to sit down at least once per week to breath, meditate, pray, and think about my goals. I'm going to set up a comfy place with books, paper, pens, a candle, and a cozy blanket to settle down in.

Career - Make some money! My interior design business has been slow this year because of the economy but I have some ideas that might work to drum up some new business and help people out that can't afford a lot but want to beautify their homes. So, I'll work on getting a few new clients this year. I also plan to launch my Etsy store this month and work daily to try and make it successful. That leads to....

Knitting and Fiber Arts - Number one is to finish that Crescendo shawl and my Pomatomus socks! I also want to knit my first sweater and accomplish something with lace. I'm planning to check out a local weaving/spinning guild. I've contacted them and plan to visit their next meeting. I want to do some weaving (being in the guild should help with that). I also want to get started soon on Christmas presents for next year. I want to keep posting on my blog at least three times each week and make more of my posts about fiber related fun.

Home - With the economy the way it is, we won't be moving this next year like we had planned. We're likely to be here for a while. So, I've been working on some plans to add color, window treatments, and other things to several rooms. We also have a few simple landscape plans.

There are other things that I'd like to do and things will be added but these are some of the basics and I really believe I can attain them. It's helpful to list them out so I hope that this will help me get off to a good start.

Best wishes for a healthy, happy, and wonderful 2009 and success with your goals!